Welcome to Healcraft.net’s Restoration Druid Pre-Patch Survival Guide! This guide will cover the major changes to Resto Druids in the pre-patch, as well as our recommendations for any changes to talents and playstyle. As always, please comment below or tweet us @Healcraft with any questions!
In the 9.0 pre-patch, Restoration Druids have not received many major changes to our playstyle. We will continue to play very similarly to that of our Battle for Azeroth versions. However, the removal of corruptions will make a noticeable change in how our specialization feels. Primarily for raiding druids, we lost a significant amount of haste with the removal of Expedient. This may make our class feel sluggish and slow compared to before. Additionally, this will require us to better plan out our spells before damage, as we will have fewer GCDs to apply HoTs to the raid. Furthermore, with the removal of secondary stat corruptions, most of our secondary stats become far more appealing. Generally speaking, you will want to equip the highest item level piece in each slot, without caring too much for which secondary’s are on it.
The only major change to our baseline abilities was to Swiftmend. Swiftmend had its cooldown reduced to 15 seconds, but it now consumes a Rejuvenation, Regrowth, or Wild Growth from the target. If the target does not have one of those HoTs from you on them, Swiftmend is not castable. For recommendations on how to properly use the new Swiftmend, please see the Playstyle Changes section below.
Finally, our talent trees saw some reworking and new abilities added. For the most part, our talent selection in raids remains mostly the same. However, we have some new utility opportunities. The major changes to our utility toolkit is the addition of former baseline spells: Cyclone and Stampeding Roar. For more information, please see the Recommended Talents section below.
Mythic Raid Restoration Druid
As mentioned above, our talent choices in raid remain largely the same. Despite having lower haste, and thus likely fewer Rejuvenations out on the raid, Abundance is still a valuable choice. However, some Druids may find value in choosing Cenarion Ward.
The level 35 talent row remains largely subjective to each encounter and situation. However, Heart of the Wild is a solid baseline choice for an increase to our ability to provide damage.
The rest of our talent choices remain exactly the same as before the patch. Inner Peace can still be valuable on encounters where a more frequent Tranquility is valuable, or where you will not get much value from Spring Blossoms (ie. encounters where not many people will be stacked in your Efflorescence).
Mythic+ Restoration Druid
As with the raiding talent choices above, our Mythic+ talent tree closely resembles the one we used before the pre-patch. Some notable changes are our switch from Feral Affinity to Balance Affinity. Feral Affinity received some significant nerfs during the patch, and Balance Affinity is now very competitive in damage output as well as having the advantage of being able to be performed at ranged.
While Cultivation can still be a good choice for a GCD-efficient build, Soul of the Forest is very valuable for healing bursty damage. For most affix combinations and weeks, the burst healing of Soul of the Forest is difficult to give up. However, Cultivation can excel in situations where there is less burst damage and more opportunities to DPS.
The most significant playstyle change for Restoration Druids in this patch will be the reworking of Swiftmend to act as it previously did (many expansions ago). You will now need to consume a Heal over Time effect from the target in order to cast your Swiftmend ability. This means that Swiftmend should be cast less flippantly and more carefully. The ideal scenario for casting Swiftmend will be when a target takes a large chunk of damage while also having a HoT effect which is close to expiration. However, this will not always be the case. If the target is in danger of dying, it will likely still be worth it to Swiftmend “off” a full duration HoT from them. However, if they only took minor damage and only have long-duration HoTs on them, it is more efficient to let the HoT effects heal them.
Additionally, our Essence choices in raids have also shifted. Previously, we recommended running The Ever-Rising Tide major on many of the shorter and earlier encounters in Ny’alotha. However, with the changes to scaling and the stat squish, most druids will want to go back to running Memory of Lucid Dreams as a major essence. Our minor essences remain largely the same – The Ever-Rising Tide, Well of Existence, and The Formless Void.
Thank you for checking out Healcraft.net’s Restoration Druid Pre-Patch Survival Guide! Please also check for our other pre-patch class guides coming soon. Additionally, our major Class Guides will be updated for Shadowlands release shortly before the release of the expansion. If you have any questions or commends, please feel free to reply below or tweet us @Healcraft. Happy Healing!